Friday, December 09, 2005

If there was an award for "Best Game Blog Posting of 2005" (maybe there is? - I'm so out of touch) this would be my nomination: Chris Farrell's tips for getting Civilization back onto the table. This superb article gave me a nostalgic wistfulness for past Civ sessions, as well as an persistent itch to do it again.

Remember that this, along with Francis Tresham's 1829, was essentially the first "big" eurogame. It's a direct ancestor in style to currently popular high-end euros like Power Grid, Age of Steam, Goa, Die Macher, and Puerto Rico. Unlike the Avalon Hill-style games that were then in the vogue – games that tended to make some attempt at simulating something – Civilization is a themed game. That is to say, some stuff in the game may not necessarily make immediate intuitive sense in terms of simulation, but it's in there because the game requires it. Strictly from a systems perspective, this is where Advanced Civilization went awry – it added a bunch of stuff for various reasons of "simulation", but wrecked the finely-tuned underlying mechanisms. This is not to denigrate the theme of Civilization, which is excellent and better than most current euros – but I think it's important to the enjoyment of the game to realize that in many ways this game was way ahead of its time, and is not cut from the same cloth as other Avalon Hill games of that era.

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2 comments:

Iain said...

Yes, that was a good once, but it was pretty recent. I bet there are better gems, but that one is still in our collective memories.

Yehuda said...

Re award: There is one now, and Chris's post has already been nominated.

Yehuda